Engineering undergraduate research as a physics student

In summary, the conversation is about a physics student who joined an engineering research project and is wondering about the differences in knowledge and experience between engineering and physics students. The advice given is to ask questions, learn from the engineers, and double check work to ensure understanding and accuracy.
  • #1
Fantasmagoria
10
0
Hi everyone,
I am physics student (junior), and I just signed up for a research project with an engineering lab (more or less common at my school) There's a lot of other undergrads working there, but no-one else from physics. (it's mostly biomed-E students) So far it's starting out pretty quick, and although i think I've been able to follow/remember most of the instructions, i don't really know HOW well I'm doing compared to how much I'm expected to pick up. My question is: what kinds of things do engineering students learn compared to physics students that might show up? Has anyone else had a similar experience? Did you have difficulties with anything in particular (i.e. other students already knew how to use all the different types of equipment/never made mistakes in mixing chemicals/etc.)? What should I watch out for/take extra time with learning?
 
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  • #2
I'm sure that the engineering students will have had some more exposure to the type of work that you are doing compared to a physics student. I am sure that they will be able to pick up on things quicker, but that doesn't mean that you can't do the same. It might be helpful for you to take time to ask questions and learn as much as you can about the methods and techniques that the engineers are using. You should also take extra time to make sure that you understand the instructions thoroughly and double check your work as much as possible. You may also want to ask the engineers for help if you feel like you need it.
 
  • #3


I can say that it is great to hear that you are getting involved in undergraduate research, especially in a different field such as engineering. This type of interdisciplinary collaboration is crucial for the advancement of science and technology.

In terms of the differences between engineering and physics student learning, there are a few key areas that may show up in your research project. Engineering students typically have a strong understanding of design and problem-solving techniques, as well as hands-on experience with various types of equipment and tools. They also tend to have a strong foundation in mathematics and computer programming.

On the other hand, physics students often have a deeper understanding of fundamental principles and theories, as well as a strong background in mathematics and experimental techniques. They may also have experience with advanced laboratory equipment and data analysis.

Based on this, some potential challenges you may face could include learning how to use new equipment or techniques, understanding engineering terminology and concepts, and adapting to a different problem-solving approach. However, these challenges can also be great learning opportunities and can help you broaden your skillset and knowledge.

My advice would be to communicate openly with your research team and ask for help when needed. Don't be afraid to ask questions and clarify any concepts that may be unfamiliar to you. Also, take the time to familiarize yourself with the equipment and techniques being used in the lab, and don't be discouraged if you make mistakes – it is all part of the learning process.

Overall, I believe that your experience in an engineering lab as a physics student will be a valuable and enriching one. It will not only expand your knowledge and skills, but also provide you with a unique perspective on how different fields of science can work together to achieve common goals. Good luck with your research project!
 

Related to Engineering undergraduate research as a physics student

1. What is undergraduate research in engineering?

Undergraduate research in engineering is a hands-on learning experience where students work closely with faculty or graduate researchers to conduct original research in their field. This research can range from designing and building prototypes to conducting experiments and analyzing data.

2. Why is undergraduate research important for physics students?

Undergraduate research allows physics students to gain practical skills and knowledge that they may not learn in a traditional classroom setting. It also allows them to explore their interests and potential career paths in the field of engineering.

3. How do I get involved in undergraduate research as a physics student?

The best way to get involved in undergraduate research as a physics student is to reach out to your professors and express your interest. They may have ongoing research projects that you can join or can connect you with other researchers in the field. You can also check with your university's engineering department for research opportunities.

4. What are the benefits of participating in undergraduate research as a physics student?

Participating in undergraduate research as a physics student can enhance your critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. It also looks impressive on a resume, can help you build a network of professionals in the field, and can even lead to publication opportunities.

5. What are some examples of undergraduate research projects in engineering for physics students?

Some examples of undergraduate research projects in engineering for physics students include designing and building a solar-powered car, developing a new material for use in aerospace technology, or conducting simulations to study the behavior of fluids in space. The opportunities for undergraduate research in engineering are endless and can vary depending on your interests and skills.

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